Natural Mosquito Repellent: How You Can Protect Yourself From Mosquitos Bites


London: A horrifying video shows mosquitoes trying to reach and bite human skin through a net. The clip, filmed by a biologist from the University of Melbourne in Australia, shows the insects repeatedly trying to pierce the net with their proboscises, or mouths.

According to a CDC report, 2018 is set to be the worst yet for illnesses transmitted from mosquito bites, which include West Nile virus, Zika virus, and dengue fever – all potentially deadly. Although most bugs that bite us do not carry disease, the itching and red skin that comes along with it is enough to want to protect ourselves at all costs.

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Daily Mail Online spoke to two experts about what repellents, gadgets, and types of clothing actually keep those pesky bugs away. Which repellents REALLY prevent mosquito bites? Dr. Immo Hansen, a professor of biology at New Mexico State University, has conducted several studies on the safety and efficacy of mosquito repellents.

A 2015 study he worked on, which looked at a number of commercial sprays, found that products containing DEET were the most effective. ‘You have to look at the label and see the percentage but, for 25 percent or more, it can last six to eight hours, which is longer than most people stay outside,’ he told Daily Mail Online.

A smaller concentration would be closer to reapplying every two to four hours.’ Some commercial products that fell into this ’25 percent or more’ category include OFF Deep Woods insect repellent VIII, which contains 25 percent DEET and Repel 100 insect repellent, containing a little more than 98 percent DEET.

DEET, which stands for diethyltoluamide, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It was believed that the chemical blocked insect receptors that are attracted to a substance found in human breath and sweat.

However, recent evidence has shown that mosquitoes are actually repelled because of the chemical’s smell. Dr. Hansen also found through his research that oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is extracted from the gum eucalyptus tree, is very good at preventing mosquito bites.

The oil is refined, which increases the concentration of a naturally occurring substance known as PMD, the ingredient which naturally repels mosquitoes. Dr. Hansen said for those who prefer to use a more natural product on their skin, as opposed to a chemical like DEET, the oil could be a choice for them.

The Environmental Protection Agency, however, warns to not use it on children under age three. Dr. Neha Vyas, a family medicine doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, told Daily Mail Online that there are two other ingredients found in some repellents, picaridin, and IR3535 – two chemicals developed in the 1980s – that also help prevent mosquito bites.

‘You want to use any repellent that is EPA approved,’ she said. ‘In terms of the time of day, we used to believe that it was just sun-up to sundown but now we know different mosquitoes that have different patterns of biting so you want to be protected 24/7.’ via dailymail

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